Building Beautiful Communities
Channel: Zaid Shakir
File Size: 35.26MB
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Mohamed is not the father of any one of you men. He's God's Messenger, the Seal of the Prophets. God knows everything. Believers remember God often and glorify Him morning and evening. It is he who blesses you. As soon as angels in order to lead you out of the depths of darkness into the light. He is ever Merciful towards the believers.
When they meet him, they will be greeted with peace, and he has prepared a generous reward for them.
Profit we've sent you as a witness as a bearer of good news and warning as one who calls people to God by his lead as a light giving lamp.
Give the believers that good news a great bounty awaits them from God.
Do not give in to the disbelievers and the hypocrites. Ignore the harm they cause you and put your trust in God. God is enough to trust
this fellow hunter he was still it was Salam ala l mursaleen. Mohammed wala, and he was admitted main salaam aleikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh it is a blessing and an honor to have you all here tonight at seekers hubs first annual fundraising dinner. We are so fortunate to have a mom's a checker here with us as our guest speaker for the night discussing building communities of knowledge and beauty. My name is Nora Bernie. And I will be your emcee for tonight. And to begin with I'd like to tell you a little bit about seekers have we opened our doors just over 10 months ago,
and seekers have connects transformative knowledge and spirituality with action in the form of community service and social engagement. we endorse and implement the knowledge without barriers initiative wherein all classes are offered for free and they are all open to individuals of all ages, religious beliefs, walks of life, and we have an equally diverse roster of programs offered. Furthermore, to allow for this accessibility seekers have is an international organization and classes are podcasted online and recorded for access from all over the world. seekers guidance enrollment increased from 600 students to 10,000 in the first semester. This is such a strong
testament to the importance of knowledge that is free and easily accessible to all
seekers have is distinct in that the prophetic traditional sacred knowledge is taught with direct contact with scholars at a physical space which is our secrets have our resident scholarship for us urbani has studied under many eminent scholars in Damascus and in our men and in Karachi. seekers have has been blessed and humbled in the short few months to be visited by many local and international scholars, including heavy value digifree Dr. Ahmed Farooq Abdullah, Chef yahia Rodas, Chef Ramsay, Chef Nui and many others.
inshallah now we will cue a short video that we have prepared for you about the secrets of
and then you come to it doesn't come to you so I've come to the last round data blessed to hear that you have a center where you can learn and a center where you were enemies there and good people and good company good company is very important. He also showed me now they call it a syllogism
which was very nice. How many people practice the point is not knowledge. Information is not the point transformation is the point if we're just reading then Allah says that this will
be the Mr.
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to unveil what is really taking place we would see light extending from here all the way to the budget should even want to focus very
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all always has and still is and always will look after the people that serve is Dean.
Because we're not to be first name, the greatest
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or not he really inspired us to get out from our wealth and sacrifice. He wouldn't be here.
If you were
lucky that I envied anyone who serves in this place, and then the yellow sprinkle the
other one, we're gonna see the one who sweeps the floors of this place that he deserves that we kissed his feet and hence
this is why the glad tidings give glad tidings for this great good that is coming to you couldn't have been better let it kind of have to have said that needs to happen if it hadn't occurred to
all of the doors of service that were open to sanathana Sahaba the companions are open for you here in this place.
And I Medina tell you, the babraham have to
the degree of one who said I am the degree of the one that the pulpit is the city of knowledge and audiences gate is open for someone who wants to serve here they had autonomy.
And for this reason that you have to benefit
is coming to you and tell you
that you've given us our form of service
versus reality, what functionality law has enabled us to outwardly serve
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You've assisted us in service.
Give us a close with acceptance in the
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Allah, Mohammed infant mela in Allah ilmi Dean along with me with a new medicine now Mohammed de la palma
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Salam aleikum wa rahmatullah
Bismillah al Rahman al Rahim, Al hamdu, lillahi Rabbil alameen wa sallahu wa salam o Barak, Allah, Xavi now and Amina Muhammad will control all the while early, he was happy he whatever you're in, whatever you're in Allah homebase and you know, who then do median and humble I'd like to welcome all of you to this beautiful evening in Sharla, especially Imam Zaid, but also who stepped outside nasm and says Faisal, and so many of our distinguished guests here at hamdulillah. And
center wasn't wasn't originally going to be called seekers hub. This is a project that a number of us have been thinking about for a while. And our consensus was that we wanted to call it the Sahara center right after say the Fatima as the Herat because, say the Ayesha may Allah be well pleased with her. She said that Mara, a to a hadden, acaba sympton. Willa Hadean Willa Devlin be Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam mean false fatimata Binti Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam that I saw no one who was closer in their ways and attitude and conduct from the Messenger of Allah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam than Fatima, the daughter of the Messenger of Allah sallallahu alayhi wa
sallam. So we gave it we were thinking of calling the project as our center. But then
in at Rs 2010, I was consult consulting, Habibullah digifree, regarding this, and he of course, as you know, is a direct descendant of save Nadi and say the Fatima and he smiled when I told him this.
And he said, that's, that's wonderful. But he said, don't call it that because people will will read too much polemics into it and so on. And we don't need more polemics in our community said but the Baraka inshallah will be there, and he suggested call it he said, Call it seekers something. And as many of you know, Happy Valley knows more English than he lets on. And he said, in Arabic, Sami he seekers something they call it seekers, something.
So you connected with the with the online project, and one of the concerns and I feel like a guilty party because I've been teaching online for the last 1011 years. One of the concerns in our times is
That we are becoming increasingly disconnected. And it's really ironic because we go online and we feel that we are connecting online. But in reality, what it does is that it disconnects. So actually today was, I took it as a wonderful sign, and I won't mention any names. But when we were at the airport, went to pick up a mom's aide, and I was walking with someone and I looked, and the person the moms aide was walking with was the reason for a lot of us connecting with the dean, way back when, in the early 90s, he was walking out with the moms aid. Right. And he actually use the same term that, you know, he feels rather disconnected from the community and the shuttle, he promised to
come to the hub, and we'll see about that, but a lot of us become disconnected, right? And even our religious needs are fulfilled online. So for example, you know, it's Saturday afternoon, and you live around the corner from the hub. Now, why would you put on a coat or in my brother's case, put on your trousers, and show up at the hub, when you could just go on YouTube and type commands a check in, and there's an hour long video that you could watch instead. But there's a lot more to learning than just listening to information or reading information. Right, our religion is a religion that's based on community, and that learning requires community. And the age that we live
in, is, it's particularly important that we have places where people can gather one on the basis of knowledge, and the second on the basis of spirituality, because a lot of the knowledge that is presented to us as religious learning is in reality information. Right? And true religious knowledge is not just knowing a whole bunch of facts about religion, it's meant to be as Shekinah. We mentioned in the quote that we've that we heard, and as Dr. Omar, so powerfully presented in the very first lecture that was given at the hub, through our sister organization, here in Toronto, corba. that knowledge is meant to be transformative. It's supposed to change the way you are as a
human being. But that change requires a certain type of knowledge or knowledge that is spiritually connected, that strives to take from the spirit of the prophetic teachings from the prophetic example.
And knowledge that is meant to transform your relationship first with Allah. And then secondly, with those around you, so that you're a better human being all of us know, of cases of what's called NRA. Right. And not to pick on people, right. But you know, what the NRA is? And I'm saying, you know, the NRA is?
Well, the global NRA is just as dangerous as the American NRA. In America, what's the NRA?
Right. But in the Muslim community, the NRA is what is the newly religious anti. Right. Now, most uncles are too lazy, right? To get that religious in their old age, right? They sort of, you know, relax much more. But the NRA, like the newly religious, anti, they're armed and dangerous, a little knowledge that causes a lot of harm in their families and even in the community. And we see that that, you know, you news obey Donte Wright, who married Zubair years ago.
And Zubaydah aunty
used to be such a nice person. And we're not talking about our beers of a don t. This is the guy who's always been a wonderful person, but this is the mythical VEDA Auntie of our examples, right? So the way the Auntie used to be a perfectly nice person, the problem that happened is that she became religious.
Right? And now, it's a politically incorrect thing to say. But if you paused the story of your life and ask, Do you honestly believe aunties Aveda was better before she became religious or after? Now you can't really say it because now she's like hyper religious. She's attending a dance every single day at 8am to 3pm. And you don't get breakfast anymore because she's always nursing. Right? And though it's politically incorrect to say, many of us would say that, that the NRA, the newly reduced ante didn't improve as a human being through all that semblance of religiosity that she has, because that religiosity is not a religiosity that is reflective of the prophetic way and
Teachers have encouraged us is to try to establish a center that
is a shining light that strives to embody that prophetic spirit. The name of the hub has taken some interesting twists and turns because upon the advice of Habib, Ali, and then we've been consulting many people, one of the main people have been consulting is m&a as well. Right. We settled on the name seekers hub. But then, just before we're about to launch a little problem happened.
Habib Omar, last year came to Toronto,
and Dr. Omar was traveling with him, and we've consulted Dr. Ahmad.
So Dr. Ahmad asked Habibullah for a name.
That what can you give us a name for this learning center?
And have you ever gave it a name? He called it a sirajul. Mooney, the shining light, which is one of the names of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam. So we're in a bit of a bind, because you've already set a name. And we've, you know, asked a number of people about it, and they're fine with it. But now,
have you Omar was asked about a name. So what do we do? So we decided to follow an Indian tradition. The Indian scholars have some very interesting traditions, one of which is that when they write books, they give them two names.
And usually you write a book, you give it a title, but the Indian scholars give their books a fancy title, and they give their their book a descriptor, a descriptive title. So for example, one of the greatest books on the history of India, the title, the formal title is called moosehead wholehearted, which means sort of like a picnic of ideas, right? It's like a it's a an outing of ideas.
And the full title, you wouldn't have a clue what the book is about. So the descriptive title is lm women 330. Phil Hinman, an alum informing, informing about the notables of Indian history, which is an easier title. So we decided to give it the subtitle a sirajul, Munir, the shining light. And we confirm that with Habib Bondi and others that this is what we should call it. And the idea is to have a place that welcomes everyone, right that
whoever you are, however you are, wherever you feel in your relationship with Allah, you're more than welcome. You can come as you're dressed, right? Don't worry, just, you're more more than welcome. And a place that brings people together. So if someone has something particular that they want to offer in terms of knowledge, in terms of service,
you're more than welcome at the hub, and we'd be keen to see how we can make your project or your idea come to reality, we really hit Allah. So that that's the concept behind behind the hub in sha Allah, Allah. And in terms of the future, just very briefly, one of the concerns with the hub is that we want to provide both Community Based Learning spirituality and service, but also to make it a place from from where we can establish a model seminary, a model madrasa that will produce scholars in the future and at hamdulillah. This is something that we've already started the process off through our connection with our online Academy seekers guidance, which has both general learning
and hamdulillah. As I mentioned, you know, this spring session, we had about 10,000 online students, but also we have a number of programs specifically for serious student students of knowledge. And one of the mandates that we received from a number of our teachers including Habib, Oman, and others, is that this is something that we have to prioritize to establish a proper madrasa where there is a program through through which people can learn Arabic and become scholars of the deen, because the doors of going overseas are rapidly closing at least in for the immediate future. You can't go to Syria anymore. Yemen is very turbulent, other places that are difficult to go through to
that. So that's one of the things that in the medium term we want to work towards, as well. And the final thing that sort of is part of our urgent mandate is to actively promote female scholarship as well and female access to knowledge. So already we've had a number of, of visiting scholars amongst them have been female scholars, including with Southern Nora Shama, we have a number of female teachers teaching at the hub was either shooting or Salah Fatima, who teaches or an we also have Arabic classes with with with female scholars, and we have other upcoming visits as well. And this is an aspect that we're very keen to proactively promote and also to facilitate access for females.
scholarship Bismillahi Tada. So those are a few of the components and see the nether we'll be talking about seekers works.
But this what see the nether is going to mention about seekers works and the service component. This is not a separate component from the learning. Because an essential part of our vision is that any learning of religion should transform you, as a person as a human being and should give you the prophetic concern. And the prophetic concern relates both to making good your relationship to God, but also making good your relating to God's creation. So that any true knowledge should give you that concern for service. It should not disconnect you from your community from your society, but rather should empower you and give you the urge to become a connected, engaged and active member of
the society that you're in. So that's why what the work that the nether is doing is very integral to the learning that takes place at the hub, when hamdu Lillahi Rabbil aalameen. seekers works started off initially as relief works. And it started off on a on a December night in 2008. At about one o'clock in the morning, in check for us office.
My album had just finished recording, and we wanted it to be more than just about devotional music. So the idea that that developed was to create a
an initiative that is like a cause inspires people to get involved in local charitable causes, and select global ones as well through art, through Islamic music, through inspiration.
Over the past few months, secret really works has come into the secrets, the secrets family. And so now it's re branding itself as secrets works. Why
was the need felt for something like this? Well, when we talk about the mercy of the Prophet sallallahu sallam, we often refer to the Prophet sallallahu as a Rahmatullahi aalameen.
But often he's reduced in our understanding, practically to Ramadan, Lil muslimeen, right, there's very little prophetic mercy that is manifested
to our communities at large. When we talk about giving to the poor when we talk about neighbors rights, well, where are the Muslims, who are manifesting that concern manifesting that mercy in taking care of our neighborhoods.
It's also it comes down to the issue of power to, you know, share the prophetic message with the people around us with the community around us. And our often, you know, it becomes reduced to an act that you do a pamphlet that you pass on to somebody, when in actuality it's a state that you take on. It's a state of being calling someone to God is a state is is the way you live the way you are.
You being the pamphlet instead of passing one out.
So over the past three years now, we've done a few things, in terms of raising funds for various causes.
Our international causes, including Haiti, Gaza, we've raised quite a bit of funds in collaboration with Ed foundation in in Pakistan, for the people who are just displaced by the floods over there.
In Canada, we have done three hunger campaigns. By now, with a couple of organizations, one of them is meal exchange. The other one is a Mississauga Food Bank. We've also done a blanket drive for a women's homeless shelter in Mississauga, and a youth homeless shelter, also in Mississauga.
We are currently running a another hunger campaign that we've just launched. Look at the website for more details on that. inshallah. There's a lot of exciting developments on that. So I'm going to direct you all towards the website, www dot secrets hub.org. And you'll see a big link for secrets works up there. So click on that inshallah you'll get more detail. And there are other exciting projects that are coming up as well. So what's the space thrombotic.
So I come I'm not sure if the good doctor is able to make her way up for a few words.
We really couldn't have an evening without Dr. Bono speaking. So if you could please make your way up just briefly in
a similar manner him.
I was trying desperately to pull every single kind of trick possible to make sure that I didn't have to get on this stage tonight, including fake pains. But obviously it tells you a great deal about how much the hub sympathizes
when even fake pain at this stage doesn't let you get away with not saying anything.
And I'm not going to take up too much of your time. We're here to listen to her mom's aid. So
Want to go and sit back down and listen to him? I do want to tell you a little bit about
why it is that the hub is as important as it is.
The hub in Toronto has in the last 10 months bought to you physically, that the presence of people such as Habib Ali, Al Jeffrey
Imam Zaid, Shakira rudess Dr. Omar Farooq Abdullah,
Czech name Ali Sheikh Mohammed Al Nui Southern or Shama started cheering Jeffers Rabbani, of course,
certified Dima silly Mohammed a Seraph, I mean, the list is endless people spend 10 years not having the access to the scholars that we have managed to bring to you in the last 10 months.
And this is truly one of the reasons why we pursue the aim of knowledge without barriers. The idea is not simply to bring you international scholars and to while you with external scholars, the intention, inshallah is to make the scholars home grown, to have people who in the context that they live in, study, and understand with qualified scholars, without barriers, without need for finances, and who are able then to go on and be the generation be the teachers for the future generations to come. But beyond the knowledge without barriers that they provide to the communities of the GTA, and the communities of Ontario, these scholars will also inshallah form the basis for the Global
Scholars around the world. And all already we have scholars that are going well already, we have students from the hub, that have started to travel out to go and study and who are already teaching abroad. So Alhamdulillah
knowledge without barriers, is, is as much about granting is as much about making sure that we have scholars as it is about spreading the knowledge itself, and giving people access to that knowledge. And if you'll see we've got these very, very bright lights that are shining right in your face, and multiple computers and lots of wires. And this is all because there are people right now who are joining us from around the world as well. And this is exactly what happens in our classes to in our classes. In the sessions that we run. We are always joined by global seekers family, because we grant access not just to those who are physically present, but those who are around the world. So
truly by being here tonight, and by supporting the hub by whether that's through your presence here tonight through your doors, or through finances, inshallah, what you are doing is allowing knowledge without barriers for people around the world who would not otherwise be able to afford to sit at the feet of such amazing scholars. Does Michael Hayden please remember the very growing seekers family in your door? Does that go okay?
Does that go here and Dr. bara morticia is our Managing Director at secrets hub. She works tirelessly in every state that is she is in Mashallah, as you can see by her dedication. At this point, I would like to introduce Dr. Nasir Salinas and Buck up to the stage please for a few words, and we'll follow that by Mumsy inshallah,
earlier this week, who said nasm? I asked him so I'll see you on Sunday said I'm not sure I'm coming. And I said to the nasm. That's not an option. Because, you know, 7000 bucks, you know, he's been the facilitator for all of this, as all of us know, here at nasm is one of those tireless behind the scenes, community leaders and inspiration for, I'd say, a large percentage of those who are here for myself, you know, the first true step on the journey of learning was see nasm lending his car after actually getting upset with us because we tried to set up a class with chick fil a, and we're trying to do some really advanced text and see aneurysms. We were really excited about
their man Malik and I called to the nasm and says, See nasm we've got we want to study this particular thing with Schaefer we shake the wall, do you want to join in and it has something to do with spirituality and see the Nazarene was his classic nasm isms said you guys want to talk about getting to Allah when you don't even know about his ninja. Right? So then he he told us what to do in rather shocking words. And then he that was like his ecstatic statement. And then he told us to come down to the CBC, and he gave us the commentary on it. So all
This really isn't, you know, is because of CD nauseum.
smilla rahmanir rahim Salam aleikum wa rahmatullah wa barakato.
They say if you want to, if you want to be depressed, and you ask a journalist to say a few words, and, you know, it's the only reason you turn on the news, at your own risk, because most of the news is going to be negative, but I don't, I don't have anything really, I have some positive things to say.
A lot of it, I hope, but a lot of negative things as well. So and hopefully inshallah, mom's it will be more uplifting for you than I could be. But we are basically living in a, in a time when people are questioning the relevance of religion of faith. And there are many people who are doing this sort of attack. It's very widespread, it's, it's, it's powerful. It's a powerful group of people. Many of them work in a CBC, but where I work, but many of them work at CNN, and BBC, and a lot of powerful media. And so they get a lot of attention when they make these attacks.
But at the same time, there are people out there,
you know, like Sherlock Holmes,
that people would say to people like Dr. Omar, Dr. Winters, many of our scholars that we're familiar with, in our own tradition, and many in our, the Catholic tradition, or the Christian tradition, like William covenant, that, you know, people who've come to the defense of religion in in in this age, and talking about how to make our faith relevant. And so this is a question that I feel, for me personally, the role of secrets hub, and what they're doing with the other initiatives that are very good that are happening in our city which exalt here, Chef de la, Chef Ramsay, and and all the other good initiatives that are happening, whether it be building a Masjid, setting up a relief
organization, whatever it is, all of this, if at the end of the day, it doesn't really present religion or faith in irrelevant, contemporary manner. It's really we're going down the wrong road. So we have to constantly ask ourselves, what is it that we're doing, that presents Islam in our particular case, that's our faith, to present Islam as something that is relevant, that is appropriate, that is dynamic, that is feasible, that is operational, that is sustainable, that is workable in our environment. And I'll tell you something, me personally from a personal perspective, and I just want to share three things with you one that is private, one that is personal, and one
that is public.
reason why I think it is important to support the hub seekers hub has to do with our numbers or sheer numbers alone in Canada. 9997 to one was, I think, the first year when they actually counted some Muslims in this country. 1971 there were 33,000 Muslims in Canada 1981 there was like, 93,000 Muslims in Canada 2001 there's 537,000 Muslims in Canada 2011 according to stats Canada, we're supposed to be 1.1 million Muslims. In 2017, the year in which they did that study that statscan study, were supposed to be 1.6 million Muslims in this country. So on sheer numbers alone, we have a huge responsibility. And four point something 5% of those Muslims in sorry, under this wrong 5% of
the people in Toronto in the Greater Toronto Area are Muslims 5%. But in the country itself, we're just 1.5 or to just under 2% of the entire Muslim Canadian population. So from a numbers perspective alone, I think, you know, we need places where knowledge is disseminated in a way that again, makes our religion makes our faith relevant. And the sort of private reason is that next month I become a grandfather.
So, I mean, my brother is already a grandfather. We just we're not even 50 I'm not even 50 yet. So if you know I am becoming a grandfather, where is my grandchild going to go? When he or she desires knowledge and learning at the mosque when the vast majority of us find it
painstaking, on a Friday to go to listen to a hookah in a Masjid. Many brothers and sisters have told me, where is the relevance? Where is the appropriateness of this sermon that we're hearing, so many people tune out. So that's the private reason, the personal reason why I think it's important for me
to support the hub has to do with my relationship with for us. I've known him for a very long time, as he he rightfully said, or truly said that I've known him I've known for us before he was married. I've known for us when we may do our witchcraft Allah that Allah sent us teachers. I've made those kind of doors, I've sat there, we've consulted with the Shia Hamza. Many times he'd come to the city when he himself was studying abroad. We send a Shia Hamza, where do we get teachers from? Finding shift Allah was completely pure accident, right, pure accident. So here we are. The personal reason is, I feel like for us have gone abroad studied, dedicated a large portion of his life to you know,
sort of studying this religion learning it, and is able to come back and now to settle down Finally, after traversing the world, and teach us to teach our children to teach young people in this city, and the public reason why I think is important to support the hub.
Every day, I go out in the field, and it's all end with this. I covered the Rafferty trial in London, I covered a bit of the Sheffield trial in St. catharines, or Kingston, sorry. I covered the suicide. In young teens committing suicide in Brampton, recently, three in one year, when I was in Woodstock, and we're talking to these people about Oxycontin abuse and addiction. And in one clinic alone, there's like 500 people who are suffering from addiction in this in this one clinic, of a little pristine, idyllic town of Woodstock, beautiful 500 people in one clinic, there's only 30,000 people in this town. And there's more clinics there that per capita than anywhere else in Canada.
And you know, when you ask yourself, when you look around and you look at how people are coping in these situations, what is going on? What are people where is something that grounds them spiritually, there's nothing. I mean, they are from a different tradition. But many times I look at the suicide, they shafia trial and people ask me, is this happening in the Muslim community and a lot of it were diluted to say it's not happening, it is happening. We are having problems we are having problems, whether it be domestic issues, whether it be
you know, coping with drug addiction in our community theft, crime, whether petty crime or organized crime, it's all I see the names in the press releases, I read them all from peel police, from Toronto Police from from all over across the city, from the RCMP to you know, terrorism is not really our problem, our problem, we have a different disease. And I believe the public reason why I support the hub and why I encourage you to support the hub is because it addresses and attempts to address the reasons why we're here. What are we expected to do? And how through knowledge and sacred knowledge, we can begin to transform our own lives and the lives of the people around us. So that's
my appeal. I mean, I'm not a fundraiser. I'm not a warm up speech. I would be honored to warm up on your mum's aid, but you know, he'll take us someplace inshallah we'll be interesting to listen to him. And I thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to be here May Allah bless all the brothers and sisters that are working for the hub and may your generosity show tonight in helping them to be sustainable to be grounded and to be real inshallah somebody come on.
So I come to the back office in Assam. If I could just direct your attention to the we have a few display tables down here. We have some local artists work we have sister Hamada, Ronnie and Sasha they're both local Mississauga based artists with a passion for Islamic art. They have donated these two pieces for us and we're auctioning them off. So maybe on your way down from our if you could take a look and put your bid down. And at 915 we will announce the auction item winners and shala at this time, I'd like to ask him to please make his way up
Bismillah R Rahman Rahim al hamdu Lillahi Rabbil alameen wa Salatu was Salam ala say even more setting say you Dino Habibi, Nam Mohammed. While early he assigned me he Selim tasnim and Kathy
euro Salam aleikum wa rahmatullah wa barakato.
shala. It's a great honor to be here and a great pleasure to be here. In this lovely gathering is very intimate gathering. There was a young
young man, Mohammed Tamim. Mohammed, tell me, where are you?
Has he identified himself?
Anyway, he he came. Okay, the lights in my eyes.
Anyway, he's out there, we have a sighting, a confirmed sighting.
Hopefully, we'll get there for Ramadan.
We have a confirmed sighting of Mohammed Tamim. So he came up to the stage and I yeah, there is that Sharma. And
I shook his hand. He said, I see I saw you at the IRS conference.
I said, but this is better because I get to shake your hand and to look at you right in your face, and handed less sometimes
things even though they might not be as grand as other things have a special quality. And I think we can say that about the secrets hub may not be as grand at this point, as many other initiatives, but it has a special quality. And the quality i think is captured in the title of this program, building communities of knowledge
And the beauty of the religion is being captured by the work that's going on in the secret sovereignist sirajul. Munir and that that beauty it goes back to a lot Tyler and His Messenger is not something that's sort of appendage to the religion by subsequent generations as somewhat alleged when we start talking about beauty and goodness and ethics and the integral nature of these qualities in terms of defining our community as Muslims people say oh, this is something that the Sufi is introduced and this is in at the heart of the Quran, the Quran and the Sunnah. And it's amazing. I mean, the the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, he described the law subhana wa Taala
with beauty and the law Jamil, you have boogyman? Allah is beautiful and loves beauty.
So how could this be something alien, when the very source of all the beauty in this world and the very source of the beauty that we try to reflect to the extent humanly possible
is the description of Allah subhana wa Tada. And a lot of Tyler encourages the Muslims and then we try to replicate in our communities in our lives, to the extent possible the beauty that we imagine because we haven't seen it yet. But based on the descriptions in the Quran, and soon of gender, and the ultimate description, is the description that goes beyond anything that we might imagine. When the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam mentioned Abdullah, who are you bad his Salim mela I know Nora at Willa Rogen on semiotica Katara Allah kabhi Bashar there are laws prepared for his righteous servants in Paradise, that which no AI has ever be held meaning that which is more beautiful than
any AI has ever been held that which no ear has ever heard. Meaning that which is more beautiful, the most beautiful sound you can imagine. Whatever it might be the wind rustling through the trees or the singing of the birds or whatever beauty you can imagine be falling upon your ears the incredible knock on that of our Muslim
doctors of sound
see I'm trying to word it in a non controversial language
the the scales and harmonious scales that touched the souls when the fez singers who had the IRS a couple years ago, perhaps last year I lose track
when when they came to the University of California and they singing acapella even many times without even the Duff but never any more than the Duff. So no one can let houbara lay him. No one can Sully their reputation.
There was a lady she came up afterwards
She said, I can't believe what was happening to me. This is a non Muslim lady. She said when they were singing, every time I close my eyes I saw women with scarves on there was so beautiful.
This is a non Muslim lady. Her soul was touched, but the arrangement of the sounds are designed to touch the soul and to elevate the spirit and to enrich the heart. And this is this is just a part of the beauty that defined Muslim civilization when it was viable. And this is part of the beauty that's trying to be recaptured by places like the secret hub and then present it to the world. In a brilliant, brilliant fashion the sirajul Munir is very appropriate not only brought Idris Mashallah beautifully beside it. If you didn't know his brother Idris you might have thought it was up to basit or someone. But he decided Yeah, you can be in our cell neck and share he don't want mubasher
on one is era where de la Hebei Isn't he he was the Rajamouli era. Oh Prophet, we've sent you as a witness as a gift of giver of tidings and as a warner as one who calls to a law by his command
and as a shining light.
And the secrets hub is a shining light and similar initiatives. The good is not confined to the secret hub. But this is a particular manifestation of great good. And this is one of the reasons we've gathered here tonight is a shining light in the descending darkness of the materialism. And the consequences of that materialism that northern was talking about. Here in Woodstock, Canada. Woodstock, New York is famous for something else. You have everything a person could desire materially. You have a beautiful, pristine,
urban rural community. Not overcrowded. You don't have the factories of the city and the the crowded highways and the traffic jams, you have trees, you have birds, you have open sky, you have metals. In the springtime, you have flowers, and the winter, you used to have snow.
You have deer running in and out
of the space.
beautiful homes, bucolic environment, a decent standard of living, but you have a clinic filled up with people who are addicted to painkillers,
who are trying to drown out the misery of their condition.
And this illustrates to us why our communities must be based on knowledge. So building communities of knowledge, as Muslims were encouraged to come together as community and that might not necessarily mean living in close physical proximity. But our hearts united by a common vision, a common cause a common pursuit of knowledge, that is a common commitment to the same ethical principles. That is the foundation of community as I met shocky, the great Egypt poet, we mentioned in the melanoma mode so he's talking about communities in the middle oh mama holla coma Bhatia communities are nothing but the ethical system that supports them, when who move their head that
they have. And when that ethical system collapses, they will soon follow. So our communities have to be based on knowledge and that knowledge has to be balanced. A lot of times we we make a huge mistake.
When we do one of two things. Muslims are sometimes inclined to look at knowledge of the sciences involving the physical worlds chemistry, biology, or those endeavors as secular sciences or even the social sciences of sociology, political science, economics, geography, communications, etc. as secular sciences, and then the sciences of religion as religious sciences or sacred sciences. So we have in our books
Sacred knowledge, the term sacred knowledge, all knowledge is sacred.
When it articulates the purpose that a lot Tyler has designed for it, rather deals with the world or whether it deals with the spirit for a lot of time and mentions and reminds us in the Quran, Allah Allahu Allah, how well amor to vertical law horrible Allah mean that the physical creation and how
is from Allah and for Allah and to Allah, Allah, Allah Haku and the,
the the commandments of the religion, the knowledges that give us insight into the nature of the human soul in the sciences that govern how we are to worship Allah to cultivate the human soul, how we engage in those actions that enrich the human soul And ever is also from Allah. So this dichotomy is something unknown in Muslim civilization. And this is why Muslims were able to use the physical sciences, for the beautification and the enrichment of the world and human life, the arabesque, and we see a small sample of that in the secrets hub.
We call this aloha there.
there's science involved in that.
But those sciences deal with physical reality. Those sciences are rooted in the hope, but they're inseparable from the AMA.
And so when they come together, they produce beauty.
They produce beauty. And what we have find in our civilization, Western civilization has effected a separation between the How can the Emperor In fact, they've negated the Emperor altogether and because they've negated the amor, the commandment and those affairs related to the commandment all together.
There is disrupted the balance between the two, when a lot of Thailand mentions both, he implies a balance, Allah Allahu hoek whatever
Westerner our fire, hawawa Amazon, taco filmyzila, where Canelo Wesner bellicosity talks to me, then, the balance has been established by law. And that balance permeates all things, including the Hulk and the Ammar the physical creation and the realm of metaphysical reality. And the the secret of the success of Muslim civilization is that physical reality was never seen as inseparable from metaphysical reality, there was a balance between the two. And as long as there was a balance, physical reality was always subordinate to ethical principles, which emanate from the realm of the Ammar. And what the Western world has done, has separated the two negated the Emer and so the
physical world and physical sciences and how they're used, have no ethical parameters or consideration to govern their use. So if we can make physical compounds that can kill every living organism on this earth, but they'll give us a strategic advantage, we'll do it. And so we have nuclear and biological weapons, and biological agents, stockpile by the millions of tons. If we can do something that we think will enhance our creature comforts, then we'll do it. Even if that leads to the destruction of our environment. We seek physical things to give value to our soul, because we've lost our relationship with the Lord Tyler, and the only real value to our soldiers rooted in
our relationship with Allah subhanho wa Taala. So we give value to a gold ring. And we don't think that one gold ring little wedding band
produces 20 tons of cyanide poisoned sludge in places like South Africa.
But we want to flesh out gold, the blink as they say, right?
The hip hop generation want to have a blink.
And we don't think about what that bleaching is doing to this planet.
With that blessing is doing to the lives of other individuals. And so this is why we need communities where the hammer and the Hulk were the
Physical, the spiritual, the physical, the metaphysical, are brought back into harmony and by bringing them back into harmony, our lives are brought back into harmony. And there's a danger
in even how we see religion,
because the overwhelming orientation of our age, the materialism of our age, it affects how we see religion. And we we equate religious success with power
power and influence has nothing to do with religious success. Religious success involves how you deal with power or lack of power, how you deal with influence or lack of influence? Are you patient, are you wise and judicious in how you use your power when you have it?
And are you patient, and dignified in how you deal with a lack of power when you lack it, or does a lack of power lead to a deep craving for power, and that deep craving for power leads you to disregard every principle, every ethical and moral principle.
And once pursuit of power, we have to bring the two together, we have to restore the balance. And to do that, we have to build communities of knowledge, because knowledge gives us insight into the metaphysical realm. The beauty of this now our scholars want scholars just because they were great in medicine, like even the Siena just because they were great in ophthalmology,
or just because they were great in astronomy, like lb Rooney.
Or to see and others. They were great because everything they did was built first and foremost, on a metaphysical Foundation, a foundation of that was predicated on the pursuit of truth, and finding truth that was predicated on remaining within the confines of ethical and moral considerations, in terms of how we engage the physical world.
This is an integral part of what Muslim civilization was all about.
So before, they were great doctors, and before they were great on tamala, just before they were great scientists, there were people who had inculcated into the depths of their being a Quranic worldview, and Islamic ethical worldview, and that favored and influenced everything that they did subsequently. And that only comes through knowledge.
The Western world has lost the knowledge of the Divine, generally speaking,
the Western world has lost knowledge of the balance that is to exist between the human being and creation, the Cartesian divorcing of men from nature.
And you can look at similar divorcing of the physical from the metaphysical, until the worldview becomes totally materialistic, between one value of all things is based on quantity, and quality goes out the window, how much when education itself was historically in the Muslim and other context was something for the refinement of the human being, and then vocational training, allow them to earn their livelihood. Now, education has strictly become vocational training, and the areas of higher education in the Western world where the refinement of the human being spiritually, morally and ethically has gone out the window. It took the collapse of Wall Street and the financial crisis
and all of the pain it caused. And the fact that so many of those people who were developing those derivatives and credit default swaps and other ways to rob people of their money to rob people's retirement funds to rob their pensions were hard graduates of Harvard Business School, it took that for Harvard to introduce business ethics into the curriculum.
Islam starts with the ethical ethics of business before it discusses the I camera rulings of business. This is what Muslim
gave to the world. And this is what humble efforts like the secret secrets hub wants to reintroduce into the world. Knowledge knowledge of the Divine coupled with knowledge of the world and knowledge of how we treat each other, and knowledge of our obligations to each other.
Well, lo fionn in the abdomen cannot be found yet he alone will help the servant as long as this servant helps his brother or sister What does that tell us?
And similar messages from our religion.
That there is a lot to the religion and it's beautiful. Look at the cuisine the mental that's a product of Muslim civilization. You Ever See a PR people have who are in an unrefined state
of cultivation, they just hunt the animal kill it cut off a piece roasted in the fire. They don't like cobley you know you roast it and then put it surrounded with nice fluffy rice pillow and then sprinkle shredded carrots on it. And then some raisins
or similar dishes. Look at no cuisine that's worth mentioning today.
Isn't is not Muslim.
The Persian the Afghani the Arab, the Palestinian the Lebanese. You go downtown What do you have Lebanese restaurants
right the top Bulli stuffed grape leaves the alma mater the hummus, the babylonish even you know Muslims know it the Persian
the deal rice, the pomegranate rice,
right the the Moroccan tagine,
the the Turkish
the South Asian
so now probably half the non Muslims in Toronto North So Moses biryani, then all these, these are these are these are signs and evidences of civilization events are artwork, the calligraphy, the tiles, people are still shake hands and makes the point they're still going and paying 1000s of dollars for relics, they'll go to a
shop in the back alleys of fez to buy all vases and copper work. They go to Turkey to buy the plaques,
the metalwork the calligraphy, how'd you know your dean probably sells far more to non Muslims than he does to Muslims.
These are all the manifestations of knowledge
that's rooted in a respect and imbalance with the divine commandments. And that beauty is sought after that beauty enriches our lives. And that beauty serves as the foundations for beautiful communities. And as we proceed,
we will create beautiful communities because it will stop here. The one of the geniuses of Muslim civilization is the fact that it is knowledge based.
And therefore it's not geographically based. Egyptian civilization could only appear in one place on Earth, the Nile River Valley, those are called the neilan nilotic civilizations, the coach the newbie and the gyptian. That's it, they don't appear anywhere else. The Sumerian is only in sumeria. The Hindus only in India, the Indus River and the environments. You don't have Indian civilization, and North America just as you don't have Mayan or Incan civilization in Europe.
But Islamic civilization
is what has been referred to as a mobile civilization. Why because it's based on knowledge. And wherever that knowledge went over a period of more of almost 1000 years, it created communities, and then those communities linked up with like communities, and they created a flowering of a civilizational reality. It had an Arab manifestation in Damascus in Baghdad, even an Arab manifestation in Spain
entrance of Abdullah
and his son his progeny, culminating in Medina tassajara. The city of the Rose of the flower rather
a beautiful city that was one of the wonders of the world.
It had a Turkish manifestation culminating in the great Ottoman cities and the great Ottoman architectural and artistic legacy that we see to this very day in Istanbul. And in borsa Dern, in other places, it had an African manifestation, which we saw in Egypt, some people forget Egypt, in Africa,
in Timbuktu, 1 million manuscripts, the beautiful Adobe University, South Korea, university scholars coming from all over the world, and you look at those 1 million manuscripts. I've been there and I've looked, what do you find you don't just find Islamic knowledge. But you find that at a very, very high level, but you also find all of the physical sciences, with their unique Muslim iteration is how European manifestations in Bosnia, Sarajevo and the beauty of that city and it can have a North American iteration.
Because it's the same knowledge and is being carried by scholars who are who are attaching themselves and steeping themselves and enriching themselves in the same heritage. And you see that same flower starting to bud and you smell the same fragrance, and his greatest contribution to the world. It wasn't the calligraphy that's great. It wasn't the art. It wasn't the arabesque. It wasn't the architecture, the architectural jewels of pre modernity. What are they? They're Muslim, they're the Taj Mahal. They're the corporator Sahara the Dome of the Rock, the Langham Alhambra palace, there are Muslim there, Istanbul Sultan Ahmed says su Sulaymaniyah, Salima
olu, Gianni, and Porsche. They're all Muslim. Baris not that wasn't the greatest contribution. The greatest contribution was the Muslim individual himself or herself. That human being who pursued a life of beauty, that human being who tried to make themselves an embodiment of goodness, because they recognize the truth in the Prophet statement sallallahu alayhi wa sallam in the law had Ebola Yakubu Illa Allah is good and he only accepts goodness. So you have people whose lives were dedicated to the pursuit of beauty, beauty and character,
beauty and ethics, beauty and morality, beauty and behavior, who may sciences of the study of etiquette who may sciences of the study of morals and ethics. This was the greatest contribution that Islam gave to the world and inshallah Tada. Through efforts like the seekers hub, where believers can come together on the under the umbrella of knowledge, we're believers can come together in an environment that respects the balance between the physical and the metaphysical. under that umbrella, beauty will emerge, a beautiful community can emerge. And you see the buds of the flowering of that community in this gathering tonight. You see it in the children's faces, you
see an in the respect for the sisters. You see it in the dignity of the men, and it will continue to grow, and it will continue to flower and blossom. And the radiance of it will infuse the souls of sick people who have been fatigued and rendered ill by the materialism of our society. It will revive their souls in sha Allah tala. So never underestimate the the power
of what you're doing. Never underestimate the power of this effort. And this initiative, mela tala preserve it mulata Allah bless Shaykh Faraz in his vision, see the nodir and Dr. Banu and all of the brothers and sisters those are the names I know or could recollect at the current time. Forgive me. I will try to go through the whole litany. But all of the wonderful brothers in
Sisters working with this initiative, all of those 10,000 students and beyond who are benefiting and plugging into that knowledge. mela bless everyone. And may Allah bless you to be generous when the call is made tonight because beauty
and when Muslims were great, Muslims were spending the most money on their educational institutions. Today Harvard and Yale, Stanford. Those are the universities with the biggest endowments when Islam was great carabin
as a tuna in Tunis, carabin and fez
and as har and Cairo, mustansiriya and Baghdad,
the various schools in in Syria and Damascus in Holland. Those were the schools and institutions with the biggest endowments
unrivaled bar none.
So it takes a vision. It takes knowledge. It takes commitment. It takes beauty, but it also takes money. So don't forget that part. A salaam aleikum wa rahmatullah wa barakato.